T&D: Go the Last Mile to Testing for Ability to Apply Knowledge & Skills

Go Well Past Recall 

Too often Instruction (Training/Learning/Etc.) in an Enterprise Learning Context only expects the Target Audience to be able to recall Information.

Recall.

IMO that’s often “not enough.”

Not always – but often. Because if some performance capability is worth addressing and developing – it’s probably worth it to go that last mile.

Testing for Recall won’t be enough.

Otherwise – leave it to Informal Learning. They’ll figure it out.

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We too often “test” only for awareness and knowledge … and sometimes for the enabling skills. We test for this via multiple choice questions, problems, open questions, etc. … but do not test for Ability to Apply in Authentic Task Performance.

Sure, it’s not as easy to go that last mile to test for ability to perform.

Ability to Apply in Authentic Task Performance

That’s what it’s all about.

I call those tests … Performance Tests.

To test for that – you need to provide authentic Practice w/ Feedback that corrects and/or reinforces. Then you can test for it. And you might be able to skip the tests for awareness and knowledge – for if someone can pass a Performance Test – do you really need to test for the enabling Knowledge/Skills?

Back to: it’s not as easy to go that last mile to test for ability to perform. It’s more that constructing Performance Tests – unless you’re doing a one-off, or a small set of one-off.

My former business partner from 1982-1997, the late Ray Svenson and I framed things as systems and sub-systems – and we saw 9 sub-systems – 9 bundles of processes…

9 Subsystems of a Performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification System

Some of you will recognize the grouping of systems/sub-systems into Leadership, Core and Support.

The 9 Subsystems of a Performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification System are:

Leadership Subsystems

L1- System Governance – for managements’ command/control/empowerment
L2- System Change Control – to keep everything up-to-date
L3- Communications – to keep all stakeholder groups fully informed

Core Subsystems

C1- Individual Test Planning – to align Q/C Testing to the needs of the job
C2- Testing – to conduct all testing
C3- Test Results Appeal – to allow for appeals

Support Subsystems

S1- Test Development – to develop tests
S2- Assessor Selection & Training – to insure assessor quality
S3- Data Management & Reporting – to handle data for all other subsystems

Free Book PDF

Click on the image to get the free PDF.

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Employee performance-based Qualification/Certification Systems is also available as a $15 Paperback book – and $7.50 as a Kindle – for more information and/or to order – please go – here.

What’s presented in this book is based on several large consulting efforts to create these systems … and in 2 projects, over 2000+ Performance Tests for workers in Prudhoe Bay (1987) and 2000+ Performance Tests for workers on the Alaska Pipeline (1994).

We also did projects on Branch Operations, including branch management, sales management, sales representatives, and technicians in the 1990s and early 2000s.

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